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Howdy, all -

In preparation for the coming colder months, I had a check-up done on the wagon - oil change and such. My mechanic mentioned having studded snow tires places on the rear wheels, within the next month or so. As well, he recommended placing a bag of sand in the wagon's rear, so as to help weigh down a little on the RWD, which can add a little more grip, on slick roads.

The latter bit of advice is new to me, and I wanted to run it by you folks beforehand - I like my mechanic, and he does pretty well by my wagon (he's something of a fan of these vehicles), but figures I'd drop by to see what you all think. As well, if you all have any other winter advice for me, I'd love to hear it. Thanks!
 

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If you do not keep much weight in the back of your car then yes put the bag of sand back there. Extra weight will help keep the rear wheels gripping and not just spinning on solid ice and heavy snow. The idea is to keep the back of your car where it belongs, behind you, though the method of extra weight is not full proof it will help alot.
 

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For years, I ran studded snow tires on the rear. Then someone/something convinced me to give "ice" tires a try on all four corners. I have been extremely pleased with the results. Whereas the studded snow tires were great for getting me moving, the "ice" tires do that too but also give me better stopping and maneuvering. I run Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice on two cars and a discontinued Bridgestone Blizzak on another car. I would run Goodyears on all three but the Goodyears don't come in the size the wife's Accord uses.

The downside to the "ice" tires is the special compound that allows them to grip the ice is normally only found in the top layers of the tread. Off the top of my head, the Goodyears come with a 13/32" tread. The first 7/32" has the special silica compound that grips ice. The last 6/32" doesn't so you basically have a regular snow tire. Then again, if you are down to 6/32", you don't have much of a snow tire since there isn't much tread left to "bite" the snow so you really should be getting new tires anyway.

In my experience the downside to studded tires were: (1) having to watch the calendar to make sure when you were allowed to have them on the car, (2) having the studs put in by someone who was clueless, (3) broken studs and (4) extra noise.
 

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Ideally, the extra weight should be added directly over the rear axle. If you get those 70 lbs sand tubes it is easier to place them. I typically use two of them.

- If you have a wagon and tend to leave the seats up, then it should be between the second and third seats. I usually leave my seats flat,so I put them in the third seat footwell. I can feel the difference in handling; the wagon is a little bit more tail-happy in corners. The difference in traction is well worth it though.

- In a sedan, puit it as forward in the trunk as possible. IIRC in my 9C1 sedan, I used to put them under the package shelf and use the spare tire to hold them there.
 

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Uh..... I'll have to disagree. You want to put the extra weight as far to the rear as you can. By putting the weight as far to the rear you are actually levering it. Hold a 20 pound weight close to your body. Not so hard. Now hold it as far away as you can. Pretty tough.

Instead of sand, I would suggest bags of salt. Once the season is over, you can throw the darn things into your water softener. Sand just sits in the garage waiting til next year - taking up space.
 

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Uh..... I'll have to disagree. You want to put the extra weight as far to the rear as you can. By putting the weight as far to the rear you are actually levering it. Hold a 20 pound weight close to your body. Not so hard. Now hold it as far away as you can. Pretty tough.

Instead of sand, I would suggest bags of salt. Once the season is over, you can throw the darn things into your water softener. Sand just sits in the garage waiting til next year - taking up space.
I disagree with where to put the weight, putting it as far back as possible can be dangerous if the driver has to make a sudden lane change, it could cause the car to go out of control. Case in point the extra long church vans, (check it out on the internet) the weight being as far aft of the axle is what made many of them flip, during sudden extrem lane changes. Even the manufactors tell you to put the most weight over the axle. Keeping the weight over the axle keeps the vehicle the most stable it can be.

On the salt bags, as long as your trunk stays nice and dry then good. If any moisture gets in the trunk then it will cause the salt to eat at the metal from the inside, not good.
 

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I disagree with where to put the weight, putting it as far back as possible can be dangerous if the driver has to make a sudden lane change, it could cause the car to go out of control. Case in point the extra long church vans, (check it out on the internet) the weight being as far aft of the axle is what made many of them flip, during sudden extrem lane changes. Even the manufactors tell you to put the most weight over the axle. Keeping the weight over the axle keeps the vehicle the most stable it can be.

On the salt bags, as long as your trunk stays nice and dry then good. If any moisture gets in the trunk then it will cause the salt to eat at the metal from the inside, not good.
I was tempted to post before you....really tempted but I thought I would be nice and see what others had to say for me :biggrin: Not everyone is gifted with common sense.
 

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......

On the salt bags, as long as your trunk stays nice and dry then good. If any moisture gets in the trunk then it will cause the salt to eat at the metal from the inside, not good.
LOL.... You guys... The salt is in a 30mm thick plastic bag. The bag would have to break ..... and spread the salt underneath the carpet (why wouldn't you clean it up if you saw it broken) AND there'd have to be a lake of water to keep it constantly wet.

I've been driving for 35 years with bags of salt in the back of my various trucks and RWD cars. AND I have never ever broken one. Nor did the salt eat the box or trunk.

I've never heard of any car or truck flipping because of a couple bags of salt in the back. ( The OP was asking about HIS car NOT a hypothetical Extra Long Church Van) Under inflated tires - maybe . Stupid drivers driving Extra Long Church Vans with high centres of gravity doing stupid things - maybe. But come on. We're talking the weight of ONE small child here! If you godda make a sudden lane change.... and it takes the weight of one small child to make your car dangerous !!! ... then yup .... I'll agree - were all not blessed with common sense:rolleyes:
 

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I've done it both ways (weight over the axle and weight as far back as possible). I can't say that I really noticed any difference in traction, but when the weight was at the rear I did notice a difference in handling or more specifically the tendency of the rear of the car to want to slide out in turns. In most situations this does not happen, but you can feel the difference. This was most pronounced in wagons over sedans (prossibly either because of the lack of a rear sway bar in most of my wagons or the third seat footwell is place where you can put a lot of weight right at the rear of the car).
 

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i use the tubes in the 9c1, also winterforce snow tires (4 of cause of abs) i use 235-15 but many say narrower ones work better ive had no problems i think to having 256 gears in the rear make for better handling,the 342s in the 9c1 suck
 

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Again with the salt. It cost more than traction grit. You have to pay 4-5$+ for salt in 40lb bags. grit is 70lbs for $3.00

If you've been driving for 35yrs you know that below a certain temp salt won't melt ice/snow, and big rock size pieces of salt Don't help get your car unstuck. With traction grit if you do get stuck (within reason), cut the bag and spread it where you need it, it will do it's job'

Best tires for the money Winterforce tires. 235/70/15. There are situations when a wider tire will do better in the snow compared to a skinny one. I can't remember when. I think it's on unpacked snow. I kept the stock size so speedo was the same.

You don't need four matching tires (waynes commnent) for the ABS to work either. Not sure why you think that. But having all four corner snow tires helps keep the back from just pushing the front tires in a turn. I had that issue running BFG All terrian T/A KOs in the back of my ranger and shit all seasons up front. same with the RMS when it had radial T/As up front and the Winterforce out back.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The OP was asking about HIS car NOT a hypothetical Extra Long Church VanQUOTE]

Thanks so much, everyone - so far, so good with the winter coping skills. I just got back from another road trip (Kentucky to NYC), and the handling was fine - heater core issue came up, but that's another story. And just to clarify for Couperdecar - I'm actually a chick, who's keeping this wagon happily running. There are, in fact, gals who loooooove these fine-ass vehicles. :biggrin:
 
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